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Starting an Online School

Posted by Richard | Posted in E-Learning Moodle | Posted on 04-05-2012

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For those at the beginning of starting an online school or training center there are many things to consider. First, the sheer number of Learning Management System platforms to choose from can add to the frustration of getting a project started. Every LMS has its own set of features and no two are the same. Cost is also a major consideration for most organizations. Each LMS has its own unique pricing structure. Some charge on a per learner basis while others charge a flat fee on a monthly or annual basis. There are many variants within these two basic approaches.

The first step is to determine your annual budget. This can quickly eliminate some platforms from consideration. Initial costs can often be more than ongoing annual costs. Your startup budget can be several times what your normal operating budget will turn out to be.

The second step is to determine what your specific requirements are for an LMS. Write those down and use them when you are talking to LMS vendors. If you have special requirements that are not met by a particular platform ask if the vendor will modify his system to meet your needs. Some will, many will not. If they are willing to modify their system be sure to get a firm quote for the work.

Once you determine the LMS platform that will fit your budget and your specific requirements the real work begins. Depending on your goals there are a number of approaches you can take. Your eLearning platform can be part of a blended learning system, it can provide live scheduled classes, it can provide solely on demand online classes or any combination of these. You can create your own courses, have courses created by a third party or buy SCORM (Scalable Content Object Reference Model) packaged courses and import them to your LMS. Generally, when you purchase SCORM courses you will pay on a per user basis.

You can learn more about the details of getting started in online training by going to http://www.Avasoft.net or by calling 239-567-9725.

I recommend you take a close look at Moodle.  This is an open source Learning Content Management System. It can be used free of charge. It is a feature rich system that can provide all the various approaches mentioned above.  Avasoft can host and even modify the system for you. Setup is free.

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